2015 World Report on Child Labour

World Report on Child Labour 2015: Paving the way to decent work for young people

The second volume of the ILO World Report on Child Labour series highlights the close linkages between child labour and good youth employment outcomes, and the consequent need for common policy approaches to addressing challenges arising in countries where both child labour and youth unemployment prevail.

The Report presents empirical evidence of how child labour combined with limited education can lead to increased youth vulnerability and greater difficulties in transiting to good jobs. This evidence includes results from the ILO School-to-Work Transition Survey (SWTS) programme, an unprecedented data collection effort allowing the analysis of the trajectories followed by youth to enter the world of work in a total of 28 low- and middle-income countries around the world. The Report also reviews evidence of how the child labour-youth employment link can operate in the opposite direction, i.e., of how the difficulties faced by youth in the labour market can make personal investment in education less attractive as an alternative to child labour earlier in the lifecycle.

Hazardous work among adolescents aged 15 to 17 years is a third focus of the Report. Individuals in this critical age group, who are above the minimum working age in most countries but at the same time are still legally children, overlap the child labour and youth employment fields. Evidence is presented indicating that an alarming share of working adolescents aged 15 to 17 years are in hazardous work and therefore are child labourers.

Taken together, the evidence presented in the Report makes a strong case that the challenge of finding decent work during youth cannot be separated from the challenge of eliminating child labour earlier in the life cycle. Eliminating child labour, in other words, is a key policy goal in itself and a necessary starting point for achieving decent work for all.